Chiropractic—Breakthrough Treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?

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A paper published by Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin Chiropractor Dr. J G Moellendorf, DC, ND, LCP, discusses how ADHD can develop and how Chiropractic care can have a beneficial affect on it. The full paper titled: Innate Intelligence and Chiropractic in the Care of Obsessive/Compulsive and Addictive Behaviors can be accessed at his web site.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) afflicts an estimated three to four million children, and probably even more adults. It is most often thought of as a medical disorder requiring medical treatment, namely mind-altering drugs such as Ritalin or Adderall.

There is no standard definition or standard of treatment for ADHD. The psychologist sees a mental disorder, the medical doctor looks at a neurochemical imbalance, the neurologist perceives a brain dysfunction, and the teacher observes a discipline problem. Then they attempt to treat these symptoms from their perspective, while failing to see the whole picture. While each therapy has some limited success in certain cases, they are puzzled at their failures when extending their treatment to all cases.

It appears that there is a genetic connection to ADHD. If one parent has ADHD, 60% of the children will have it. If both parents have ADHD, this increases to 90% of their children. From the 1990 research findings of Dr. Kenneth Blum, the A1 allele of the DRD2 dopamine receptor gene on chromosome 11 appears to be the most frequent cause of ADHD.

The root cause in many cases of ADHD is often related to malfunctioning in what Dr. Blum has named the Brain Reward Cascade. Humans very survival is dependent on the drive for pleasure. Whether eating, loving, working, or playing, the sense of pleasure is derived from the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the nervous system. This results in the “natural reward” of pleasure. When there is an insufficiency of dopamine production or transportation, it requires ever increasing stimulation to achieve a sense of satisfaction. This can be seen in the hyperactive response of those with ADHD.

It has been found that the primary reward centers are in the amygdala, the nucleus accumbens, and the hypothalamus of the brain, along with the dorsal roots of the spinal nerves, and the dorsal horn of the spinal cord. Research by Dr. Candace Pert has found that almost half of these centers reside in the spinal cord and spinal nerves. Researchers at Harvard Medical School’s Department of Neuro-Biology have discovered that there are neurons in the spinal cord which project directly to the amygdala and the orbital cortex. These neurons transfer somatosensory information which ultimately affects one’s autonomic, endocrine, and behavioral functions.

When the limbic system (especially the dorsal horn of the spinal cord and the dorsal nerve roots) is free of interference, only then can it function normally. When out of balance, the Brain Reward Cascade does not function properly and the symptoms of Reward Deficiency Syndrome including ADHD appear.

That is why a fully functioning nervous system is vital. When the limbic system’s Brain Reward Cascade can function without interference, the feeling of well-being can be restored. The vertebral motor units are in intimate relationship with the Brain Reward Cascade by way of the dorsal horn of the spinal cord and the dorsal roots of the spinal nerves. The nociceptive reflex from the vertebrae therefore has a profound affect on the limbic system. If there is a vertebral subluxation, it can result in a warped perception of one’s environment.

Since Chiropractors focus on correcting vertebral subluxations and their affects on the nervous system, proper Chiropractic care can be a vital part in improving the lives of those with ADHD. A copy of this paper can be accessed at

About: Dr. J G Moellendorf, DC, ND, LCP

Dr. J G Moellendorf, DC, ND, LCP attended the University of Wisconsin—Superior where he majored in Physics and Mathematics, with a minor in art photography. While attending the University of Minnesota—Minneapolis, he assisted in research on ribosomal proteins. Completing his Chiropractic studies at Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa, he graduated Cum Laude (with high honors) in 1983. He started Moellendorf Chiropractic Office, Ltd. in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin in 1983. In 1996, Dr. Moellendorf was awarded his Doctorate in Naturopathy from Trinity School of Natural Health. In 2001, he received Chiropractic’s most prestigious award, the honorary Legion of Chiropractic Philosophers degree, for his thesis “The Workings of Innate Intelligence in Obsessive/Compulsive and Addictive Behaviors.” This paper was chosen for publishing in the book Philosophic Contemplations vol. 2 in 2002. Dr. Moellendorf can be contacted at (920) 493-2126 or jgmoellendorf(at)itol(dot)com, or his website at http://

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Moellendorf Chiropractic Office, Ltd
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